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Facebook Worm Siphons 45,000 Accounts

Ramnit financial malware gets social with new variant.
A server housing tens of thousands of stolen Facebook credentials was discovered--and it turns out the attackers employed a new version of an existing worm to pilfer the goods.

Researchers at Seculert say the attackers used a new variant of the Ramnit worm, which is best known as a financial malware family that steals FTP credentials and most recently morphed into a Zeus-like weapon that performs HTML code injection into browsers to steal online banking credentials. Ramnit represents some 17% of all new malware infections, according to Symantec data.

Ramnit is known for its ability to spread quickly and on a large scale. "This is a variant which expands the financial-stealing of the previous version and now steals Facebook login credentials," said Aviv Raff, CTO at Seculert. "We suspect they are using the login credentials to increase the spread of Ramnit. The malware by itself is a worm--or a file infector--and this feature adds to this worm capability."

Seculert employed a sinkhole to gather data on Ramnit's activity and found that the attackers had stolen more than 45,000 Facebook credentials from all over the world, but mainly from users in the United Kingdom and France. Even more alarming is that the attackers appear to be using duplicate passwords to hack victims' corporate accounts and, thus, their employers. Seculert has handed the information over to Facebook.

"The cybercriminals are also taking advantage of the fact that people usually use the same passwords for different Web-based services (Facebook, Gmail, corporate SSL VPN, Outlook Web Access, etc.), to gain remote access to corporate networks," according to Seculert's blog posting on the find.

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